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A glimpse of the Workshop on Ultra-Low Energy Consumption and Plus Energy Buildings

The construction sector is a massive resource guzzler and emissions contributor. One of the key experts for the Plus Energy Building workshop, Giulia Peretti from the Werner Soberk Group, introduced the environmental position of the global construction sector. 58% of total waste generated is from the building and construction sector, along with over 35% of global energy consumption and 35% greenhouse gas emissions. Further, she highlighted the proportions of this energy consumption in buildings—about 25% is constituted by its embodied energy and 75% is the operating energy. One can thus see that a high degree of potential exists in saving energy through not only materials, but also design and strategies of the building’s operation.

The three-day workshop and training unboxed the concepts of Ultra-Low Energy Consumption and Plus Energy Buildings from various angles such as a policy, design, construction details and financial viability. The German government aims to turn its entire building stock carbon neutral by 2050, through a combination of energy savings and renewable energy. While the concept of Plus Energy was developed in Germany in 1994, it is relatively new in the Chinese context. There is a high potential for saving energy in the construction sector in China, one of the reasons being its sheer scale of urbanisation and construction boom. Through best-practice examples, standards and challenges faced in German context, experts shared their experience with stakeholders from Beijing’s construction sector.

Day 1 comprised of a “Closed-Door Interactive Roundtable Session” on Plus Energy, wherein the presentations and discussion centered around the application of Plus Energy concept for a kindergarten project in Miyun district. In addition, the participants received a tour of different components and their assembly for energy efficient construction, such as triple glazing and types of insulation layers. The session saw attendance by about 30 project stakeholders from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) and Beijing-Uni Construction Group (BUCC) amongst others.

Day 2 comprised of a workshop titled “Is China ready for Plus Energy?”, consisting of a broad introduction and overview to the concept and application of Low Energy Consumption and Plus Energy Buildings in China and Germany. Further, the status quo, policies, practices and technical standards of different types of energy efficient buildings in China were presented. Additionally, the experts presented some best practice examples from both the countries. The sessions were followed by Q&A rounds with the experts.

Day 3 consisted of a capacity building session, focusing on key technologies, construction details and benefit analysis of Plus Energy buildings. The technical aspects of achieving air tightness, heating and ventilation and heat recovery were presented. Giulia Peretti presented the aspects of construction, control, operation, evaluation of Plus Energy Buildings. The second-half of the day focused on the economic analysis of Ultra-Low Energy Consumption and Plus Energy Buildings, followed by a Q&A round. The venue hosted an exhibit of technologies and products for Ultra-Low Energy Consumption Buildings. The event on Ultra-Low Energy Consumption and Plus Energy Buildings was organized by The Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership (SGUP), Beijing-Uni Construction Group(BUCC) and China Technology and Industrialization Development Center (CSTC), on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD).

Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership

The partnership is working to influence political dialogue to address the challenges created by a fast-paced urbanization process and climate change in both China and Germany. It aims to create platforms for cross-city institutional exchange of experiences, facilitate knowledge exchange and promote capacity building that can drive the development of joint solutions to these challenges. Key targets of the exchange are to reduce CO2 emissions, promote a more balanced urbanization development and improve quality of life in cities in both China and Germany.